The Met Office's new Security Operations Centre has centralised the organisation's security and will support its strategy to digitise more services and operations, and focus on combating hackers and cyber threats.
The strategic shift was signalled by CIO Charles Ewen in an interview earlier this year, and acting chief information security officer Tim Moorey has talked to V3 about the organisation's changing approach to IT security.
"The team has evolved, broken down into the core streams of delivering the information assurance and cyber resilience across the organisation," said Moorey.
It has also expanded, taking on security staff with a wider variety of skills to handle some of the new core tasks.
"Originally, the security team depended entirely on, for example, the networks team so that people looking after the networking infrastructure would have monitoring capabilities for service monitoring," he explained.
"We'd also have people who would monitor desktop infrastructure. There was no real central coordination in terms of security."
Moorey was brought in to help establish the Met Office's Security Operations Centre, which was set up to support the new business strategy. The aim is to enable public or private sector third-party organisations to run their own algorithms against Met Office climate and weather data, or a subset of that data, on the Met Office's own supercomputers.
"We've already had some examples of people sending us their smaller datasets and their algorithm. We operate that algorithm against our bigger dataset with their dataset, and give them back the answer. In other words, bringing the problem to the data, rather than the other way round," Ewen told V3 in February.
However, opening up IT in this way has also required an investment in security. The trouble with the old approach, according to Moorey, was that "each team was looking at it from a service-monitoring or service-availability perspective, specifically from a security or cyber threat perspective".
Drawing these functions into the Security Operations Centre hasn't necessarily driven a reduction in networking monitoring and systems management, he argued.
"They are still monitoring for service availability and so on, but [also] looking at the feed from all of the monitoring systems we've got, plus specific security controls, and looking at those in a cyber context and then providing packages of work to the business as necessary to remediate or react to," said Moorey.
COMING SOON: Read the full interview with Met Office acting CISO Tim Moorey on V3.
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